Our Story - Karma

BoutiquebyMariam zardozi artisan embroidering a floral tapestry.



It started with the unexpected arrival of a parcel from India.  

Inside the carefully hand stitched muslin exterior were 11 beautiful purses - a very generous gift from my Indian guide. He thanked me for recommending him to other travelers.

The gift created a dilemma, for I knew the guide could not afford to give such a generous gift, but neither would he accept payment from me.  What to do?  I sold the purses and sent him the proceeds. Done! .... Or not.... Because a month later, an even larger parcel arrived from India, containing even MORE purses.   

I was puzzled. "Why didn't you just keep the money?" I asked.  He explained  "If you give one person the money, then only one person benefits.  But if you use the money to buy more purses, then all the people who make the purses and their families benefit, and you receive their blessings and thanks."

I could use some blessings and thanks, couldn't we all?   I was in....

And what good timing.... For when the Covid pandemic shut down international borders, the tourists disappeared overnight, and with them, the traditional markets for Indian handicrafts. There was no embroidery work. These highly skilled embroiderers, most with over 20 years experience, were forced to work in shoe factories or sell vegetables in the streets to survive.  This venerable, third generation embroidery house might be forced to close. 

If you lose one generation of artisans, you risk losing the entire art form. For who will teach the next generation?

I asked how I could help.  "Send us work" they replied. 

If the world cannot come to India, then India must go to the world.  I created this website for the artisans, so that the whole world would see their amazing work, and to provide them economic diversity and stability.

I am inspired by the amazing talent and creativity of the zardozi artisans of India. I am on a mission to share the beauty and complexity of zardozi embroidery with the world and to preserve this remarkable art form. 

It gives me great joy that, because of your support through this website, the embroiderers in the atelier have all returned to their beloved embroidery.  And we continue to support over 100 families with donations of much needed food staples.

When you purchase an item from our artisans, you receive not only a stunning work of art that makes you feel beautiful and confident, you also receive the blessings and thanks of the artisans, for investing in their talent, for honoring their legacy, for providing their livelihood, and for ensuring the continuity of their craft. 

Karma. It is real. I know it.  Find out for yourself....